By Kira Black
Conroe provides small-town living while located only 40 miles north of Houston, the fourth-largest city in the country. This quaint city is currently having a resurgence and is considered one of the fastest-growing cities in Texas. Conroe has a reported population of 103,035 as of August 31, 2023, a 36% increase from 2013, and it is only projected to grow. The town has ample land for new development, and the recent improvements are heavily influenced by the city development model of The Woodlands just ten miles south.
With this location near The Woodlands and so much available land, Conroe is starting to experience spillover from that city and become popular as a “bedroom community,” resulting in additional residential development. One such project in the city is the highly anticipated Grand Central Park, a 2,046-acre residential community development along Interstate 45 and South Loop 336, just five miles north of The Woodlands.
Furthermore, the Conroe Economic Development Council is seeking to attract more manufacturing and energy companies to move headquarters to the community given the abundance of land.
Overall, Conroe is positioned to become the new “leading lady” for suburban development in the North Houston market, competing with The Woodlands, Spring, and Humble.
Tourism and Visitation
The city of Conroe prides itself on being a retreat for the residents of the greater Houston area, with its 22,000 acres of lake and 156 miles of shoreline on Lake Conroe. Surrounding the lake are several residential lakefront communities, restaurants, bars, and public beaches. Accommodating the tourism seasonal influx, Lake Conroe is home to two major lake resorts: Margaritaville Lake Resort and Holiday Inn Club Vacations Piney Shores Resort. In addition, campgrounds are available at the Cagle Recreation Area and Stubblefield Lake Recreation Area.
According to Visit Conroe, other attractions in the city include the following:
- Conroe’s Historic Downtown (established in 1890) features independent retail businesses in the city’s Main Street Square, in addition to local restaurants, breweries, and cafés.
- Sam Houston State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, a medical branch of Sam Houston State University, opened in 2019 in the Grand Central Park community.
- Breweries in the Conroe area, such as Southern Star Brewing Co., Copperhead Brewery, B52 Brewing Co., and Fass Brewing Co., are growing increasingly popular.
- The Lone Star Convention & Expo Center is the third-largest convention, expo, and fairgrounds complex in the greater Houston area, following George R. Brown Convention Center and NRG Park.
- Several state parks and national forests are located throughout the area, such as Huntsville State Park (2,000 acres), W.G. Jones State Forest (1,700 acres), and Sam Houston National Forest (161,500 acres). Each offers trails, picnic areas, campsites, lakes, and creeks.
The majority of the hotels in the Conroe market benefit from a location near Interstate 45, a major highway, attracting both commercial and transient travel. Hotel supply growth in Conroe reached a plateau from 2020 through 2022, with an increase in 2023, as illustrated in the chart below.
According to STR, the most recent addition to the Conroe market was the Hyatt Regency. This 250-room property opened in May 2023 in the Grand Central Park residential community. With its full-service amenities such as an onsite restaurant and 30,000 square feet of meeting space, the new Hyatt Regency creates new opportunities for Conroe, where the supply is mostly limited-service hotels.
World Population Review, “Conroe, Texas Population 2023.” Retrieved 08/31/2023.
Anna Lotz. “Traffic Volumes Projected to Jump 57% on Hwy. 75 in Conroe Area.” Retrieved 08/04/2023.
Peyton MacKenzie. “5 Master-Planned Communities Growing in Conroe.” Retrieved 8/04/2023.